DIY Guitar

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
04/25/12 04:09:49PM
157 posts

Anyone built their own Guitar? I really don't want to expend resources on one right now and my brain just can't come up with the justification for the cost association, always seems like highway robbery. We're starting to move out of hand rolled though and cutting with a knife is tedious.

In my head I've got PVC pipes in a square with stainless strings tightened by eyelets or thumbscrews spaced however seen fit with a hinge.

So--built your own? Come across some plans for a DIY project? If I could spend a few hours and < a couple hundred I'd feel it was a worthy small project.


updated by @andy-ciordia: 04/09/15 08:17:01AM
antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/25/12 04:26:19PM
143 posts

Hi Andy,

i actually did! i found some details online (will try to remember and forward the links).

you will need:

a) being good as "MacGyver'

b) few tools

what i did: i bought some aluminum pipes of 25mmx25mm and cut to size to create a frame.

riveted all together. made holes for the right cut size ( 2.5cm )

Then i bought some high resistant bolts and got the holed by an engineer company ( in Cape Town we have a lot of them that work with marine items).

The wires are not from an electric guitar (too expensive) but is fishing rod for deep see fishing (sharks, tuna etc) that can hold pressure up to 300kg.

the next step would be to get a base cut from a piece of aluminum (like a real one) but i don't feel now to pay $$$ for it.

Now, it looks very "frankestein" BUT it works!

I will try to take some pics tomorrow.

BTW, a frame cost me about Zar 350 (ca $45)

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
04/25/12 04:29:34PM
157 posts

Excellent! I am great with chewing gum, paperclips, and wire cutters. ;)

If you can find your details that'd be great, much appreciated.

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/25/12 04:30:32PM
143 posts

here we go: i found the link, hope i don't mess up with the T&C of the forum

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/89623-home-made-guitar-cutter/

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
04/25/12 04:33:33PM
157 posts

Great thread, thanks for the info Antonino!

Clay Gordon
@clay
04/25/12 08:02:59PM
1,680 posts

Andy:

Here is one I saw in Bolivia when I was there in November 2010. It uses guitar tuning pegs (and guitar strings)! Tiny holes are drilled through the base, as you can see in the photo, and the guitar strings are threaded through. Of course, you'll need to replace the wood with a material that's food safe, but it works well. It's pretty cool, actually. Push through in one direction, rotate the entire device 90 degrees and push through in the other direction.

What I like about this compared with other approaches is that it doesn't require the precision of machining the slots in the base to accommodate the strings, and there is no hinge. It does require more elbow grease than a hinged guitar, but it's a comparatively simple device to build.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Pierre (Pete) Trinque
@pierre-pete-trinque
04/25/12 08:36:45PM
19 posts

Andy,

I have a welding buddy who says he can put one together with alum. but I have to say, the one Clay shows is very interesting. The only downside I see is the required footprint. It's a manual version of what SG is selling for 6500.00. The wheels are turning......

Clay Gordon
@clay
04/26/12 08:48:37AM
1,680 posts

Pete:

The footprint may be a bit large, but one advantage of doing something like this is that it's totally portable. When you're not using it ... just pick it up and slide it out of the way. It's not permanently taking up work/counter space.

:: Clay




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
04/26/12 11:17:43AM
157 posts

Yea I looked at that again recently as a thought. I don't really want a push through though. Either a top down push (whether on a rail or free-form) or hinged idea.

Push throughs could work good for straight ganache but if you do any nuts* or soft-caramels (*caveats abound but they can be done with standard guitars) it would cause too much tearing with this system.

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
04/26/12 11:20:07AM
157 posts

I have a SS fabricator friend in FL I was thinking of approaching with the concept as well. It'd be neat to see someone in America producing these that doesn't cost so much. It's not rocket science.

For now though I just want a hacked solution to get the job done.

Pierre (Pete) Trinque
@pierre-pete-trinque
04/26/12 01:58:47PM
19 posts

Clay,

Agreed. Looking to see if we can do the whole thing in a manner that keeps the weight down so that it can bemoved easily and is durable enough to withstand the moving and workload.

Pete

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/26/12 04:34:04PM
143 posts

Here a picture of mine!

DIY is very very cheap,i would say 2 hours for shopping and 2 hours to put it together (the first one i made took me a lot longer... trial and error) if you get someone to do it (unless is a friend) it will look better but cost also more.

i use an elevated cutting board so i can push it trough the ganache.

sometimes i use it just to score the marks on a soft caramel and then cut with the knife...

still, only ca $40...... i can live with that!

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
04/26/12 04:38:00PM
157 posts

Cool Antonino. It looks like you went for bracketing instead of welding it. A few other deviations from the plans you posted. Any further modified notes on how you made yours? It looks a bit easier to construct.

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/26/12 05:12:10PM
143 posts

Hi Andy,

welding aluminum is matter of professionals, i built this frame when i just arrived in SA and i didn't know anyone. So i went the easier way to "rivet" (or bracketing) everything simply because was the only way i knew how to put it together.

Riveting is easy: drill a hole, put a rivet and with the right gun just close the rivet.

The bolts are the same as the one from the link, any engineering company is capable to drill a hole in it. Do not try at home, it will cost you so much on drill bits and time. Seriously i did all the rest of the job with the cheapest DIY tools i could find at a builder warehouse.

the frame has been put together almost 2 year ago and it hasn't yet broken into pieces... so i guess it works!

Next (just to consider it an evolution) i will buy a thick cutting block and cut the slots so it is easier /faster to cut and move the ganache.

looking forward to see yours!

Edward J
@edward-j
05/03/12 02:26:47AM
51 posts

I have had some experience "fooling around" with a home made guitar. My attempts were with alum. "L" bar riveted together and using bicycle s/s spoke nipples and pieces of s/s spokes as the tensioning device. Problem with alum. is is that it is soft. After a few months the frame warped-- all those strings under tension probably did it. But then, if alum is soft, the rivets are even softer, and when I tightened up a few wires one fateful day, I ended up shearing off the heads of the rivets.

Thing is, in order to cut a slab of ganache, the wires have to exit the slab to make a clean cut. This means the wires have to end up below the slab when the cut is finished. To do this, I took a large nylon cutting board, and cut a series of 1/8" deep x 1/8" wide grooves in it with a table saw. This does the trick, but now I had to anchor and hinge the frame to the base, as any shifting when I pushed the frame down would make for messy cuts. And, a lot of crud gathered in the grooves of the cutting board. Probably close to 100 hours of farting around and "Wile E. Coyote Back to the drawing board" moments fooling around with this contraption, and now it sits in the attic of my garage.

I do 3 slabbed ganache varieties at work. What I use is a cutting wheel. At dollar stores, I buy a dozen s/s pizza wheels, usually 3" dia. I cut out the rivets, throw away the handles, and mount the wheels on a length of redi rod (all-thread rod) I have a lathe at home so I turn sections of hollow oak, cut them to 7/8"lengths, and space the wheels with these, make some handles, and cap off both ends with acorn nuts. Matfer has a version of this, which I un-shamefully ripped off, the 2005 catalouge listed it for over 300 USD. A picture is worth a thousand words...

After I pour out the slab, I wait until semi-firm, not fully crystalized, and then paint on a top layer of couverture, flip it over, then paint on a bottom layer. I put my contraption in the oven for a minute or so and then cut through the slab in strips, then in squares. Works quite well , and I spent far less than 10 hours making the thing.........

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
05/03/12 03:30:16AM
143 posts

Hi Edward,

please share a couple of pics with us, it sounds like a cool idea.

Cheers

Nino

Edward J
@edward-j
05/09/12 01:16:06AM
51 posts

Lets see if I can upload a pic of my cutter.

If the cutter is heated in the oven for a minute or two, it does a reasonable job of cutting the ganache. Cutting is best done just after a bottom is put on the slab--when it is fresh and still sticks to the paper--this way it won't get picked up by the cutter.

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
05/09/12 03:26:49AM
143 posts

Edward,

i think at the moment you are on the top list for the "Wile E. Coyote/Mac Gyver" Award!!!

i will try to make one as well!

Edward J
@edward-j
05/09/12 12:54:43PM
51 posts

No.... Wile E. Coyote was an "Acme" man, through and through......

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
05/10/12 01:01:07AM
527 posts

Those are pretty cool. How do they do for cutting caramel?

Edward J
@edward-j
05/10/12 10:10:02PM
51 posts

Caramel? Kinda/sorta if you spray "pam" on the wheels, but I just use the wheel to mark the slab. Any regular kitchen knife will work to cut caramel (Grewling's recipie) as long as you keep the knife moving.


updated by @edward-j: 09/10/15 07:26:14PM
Jonathan Edelson
@jonathan-edelson
01/15/14 02:48:40PM
29 posts

Rather than a _guitar_ cutter, I made what is best called a _washtub bass_ cutter.

I used the best $25 hacksaw frame sold at home depot, and stretched stainless steel wire across the prongs that hold the blade.

The trick is to get a saw with _smooth_ prongs, and to wrap the wire around the prong a couple of times and then twist around itself to lock.

It takes a couple of tries to get the knack of it so that the wire can be tightened enough.

1137-DSC_7445_V2.jpg

To deal with the wire having to pass below the slab, I used a firm foam with food safe material (plastic wrap) above it.

At first I would just use this for freehand cuts, but then I built a guide frame. This is just a pair of waterjet cut 'combs' screwed to some cutting board material.

1139-DSC_7446_v2.jpg

I am only using this at home; in the commercial kitchen I'd probably use an NSF rated saw (they make them for butchers) and I would need to figure out different pad materials.

-Jon

allison roberts
@allison-roberts
07/22/14 04:28:32AM
2 posts

Thanks for all the sharing guys! I'm still using a pastry cutter but look forward to making a variation on one of these someday :)

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